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possible, as Bacon and Sir Thomas Browne admit, that there is some truth in a sober and regulated astrology, and that the influence of the stars is not to be denied, though the due application of it, by the knaves who pretend to practise the art, is greatly to be suspected ?"-A moment's consideration of the subject induced him to dismiss this opinion as fantastical, and only sanctioned by these learned men, eitherebecause they durst not at once shock the universal prejudices of their age, or because they themselves were not altogether freed from the contagious influence of a prevailing superstition. Yet the result of his calculations in these two instances left so unpleasing an impression upon his mind, that, like Prospero, he mentally relinquished his art, and resolved, neither in jest nor earnest, again to practise judicial astrology
He hesitated a good deal, what he should say to the Laird of Ellangowan, concerning the horoscope of his first-born ; and, at length, resolved plainly to tell him the judgment which he had formed, at the same time acquainting him with the futie lity of the rules of art on which he had proceeded. With this resolution he walked out upon the terrace..
. If the view of the scene around Ellangowan had been pleasing by moonlight, it lost none of its beauty by the light of the morning sun. The land, even in the month of November, smiled under its influence. A steep, but regular ascent, led from the terrace to the neighbouring eminence, and conducted Mannering to the front of the old castle. It consisted of two massive round towers, projecting, deeply and darkly, before a curtain, or flat wall, which united them, and thus protecting the main entrance that opened through a lofty arch into the inner court of the castle. The arms of the family, carved in freestone, frowned over the gateway, and the portal shewed the spaces arranged by the architect for lowering the port-cullis, and raising the
draw-bridge. A rude farm-gate, made of young fir-trees nailed together, now formed the only safeguard of this once formi. dable entrance. The esplanade in front of the castle commanded a noble prospect.
The dreary scene of desolation through which Mannering's road had lain on the preceding evening was excluded from the view by some rising grounds, and the landscape shewed a pleasing alternation of hill and dale, intersected by a river, which was in some places visible, and hidden in others where it rolled betwixt deep and wooded banks.' The spire of a church, and the appearance of some houses, indicated the situation of a village at the place where the stream had its junction with the ocean. The vales seemed well cultivated, the little, enclosures into which they were divided skirting the bottom of the hills, and sometimes carrying their lines of straggling hedgerows a little way up the ascent. Above. these were green pastures, tenanted chiefly. by herds of black cattle, then the staple
commodity of the country, whose distant low gave no unpleasing animation to the landscape. The remoter hills were of a sterner character; and, at still greater distance, swelled into mountains of dark heath, bordering the horizon with a screen which gave a defined and limited boundary to the cultivated country, and added, at the same time, the pleasing idea, that it was sequestered and solitary. The sea-coast, which Mannering now saw in its extent, corresponded in variety and beauty with the inland view. . In some places it rose into tall rocks, frequently crowned with the ruins of old buildings, towers, or beacons, which, according to tradition, were placed within sight of each other, that, in times of invasion or civil war, they might communicate by signal for mutual defence and protection. Ellangowan castle was by far the most extensive and important of these ruins, and asserted from size and situation the superiority which its founders were said
once to have possessed among the chiefs and nobles of the district. In other places, the shore was of a more gentle description, indented with small bays, where the land sloped smoothly down, or sent into the sea promontories covered with wood. · A scene so different from what last night's journey had presaged, produced a proportional effect upon Mannering. Beneath his eye lay the modern house; an awkward mansion, indeed, in point of architecture, but well situated, and with a warm and pleasant exposure. How happily," thought our hero," would life glide on in such a retirement ! On the one hand the striking remnants of ancient grandeur, with the secret consciousness of family pride which they inspire; on the other, enough of modern elegance and comfort to satisfy every moderate wish. Here then, and with thee, Sophia !”—
We will not pursue a lover's day-dream any farther, Mannering stood a minute